Press Release: Groups Stage Tax-Day Protest at Main Post Office, Reveal “Dirty Dozen” Companies That Got “Economic Development” Tax Breaks But Still Laid Off Workers
For Immediate Release
Contact: Bettina Damiani - Good Jobs New York 212.414.9394, cell 347.432.0315
Jahahara Alkebebulan-Ma’at - Alliance for a Working Economy 718.857.4865 cell 917.520.6455
Demand Accountability in Reconstruction
Groups Stage Tax-Day Protest at Main Post Office, Reveal “Dirty Dozen” Companies That Got “Economic Development” Tax Breaks But Still Laid Off Workers
April 13, 2002 (New York, NY) – With billions of rebuilding dollars pouring into New York City after the September 11th attacks and unemployment still worse here than the rest of the country, members of grassroots, advocacy and labor groups will assemble Monday April 15th at the main post office to demand accountability and name a list of “dirty dozen” companies that have received huge tax breaks and still laid off workers.
The action will take place at the main U.S. Post Office on 33rd Street and 8th Avenue between 5:00pm and 7:00pm. It is sponsored by Good Jobs New York and the Alliance for a Working Economy who will release the names of twelve corporations – a.k.a. the Dirty Dozen – that got massive taxpayer subsidies but still laid off workers. Co-sponsors include the New York Immigration Coalition, New York Jobs with Justice and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.
For years before the World Trade Center attacks, New York City did little to even keep track of whether companies receiving subsidies kept their promises to retain and create jobs, much less hold companies accountable. However, with $21.5 billion in funds slated for the rebuilding effort, there is a growing concern that these “retention” funds will mostly go to big businesses that don’t have any intention of relocating outside New York City. And with few reporting requirements attached to the funds, there is no way to tell if taxpayers are getting a good return.
“Garment workers in Chinatown to airline employees in Kew Gardens are still reeling from job losses after the terrorist attacks,” says Bettina Damiani of Good Jobs New York. “Today, as hard-working New Yorkers dutifully pay their taxes, we demand corporations retain and create jobs.”
“It’s outrageous that mostly big business, who have a mediocre at best track record of keeping their promises to New York taxpayers, could get the bulk of the tax breaks,” said Jahahara Alkebebulan- Ma’at of the Alliance for a Working Economy. “Public officials must work to ensure that the reconstruction monies help working New Yorkers and that the allocation process is transparent.”
High on the list of demands at the rally is to stop the proposed taxpayer subsidy to the New York Stock Exchange. Mayor Bloomberg has spoken out against former Mayor Giuliani’s drive to build two new baseball stadiums, but his administration has remained quiet on the NYSE deal, which could cost the taxpayers upwards of $1 billion. Organizers argue these funds could be used to help an array of unemployed workers.
“The majority of those who lost their jobs as a result of the September 11th attacks are immigrants,” stated Chung-Wha Hong of the New York Immigration Coalition. “We urgently need revenue and employment strategies that address the needs of these displaced workers.”
Below is Good Jobs New York’s “Dirty Dozen.” Most incentive packages offer tax breaks for fifteen to twenty years. For additional details about these and other companies, visit www.goodjobsny.org.
Good Jobs New York’s Tax-Break Dirty Dozen
ABC/Capital Cities $26 million in 1994 to create 185 jobs and retain 3,700 jobs. January 2001, 175 workers laid off and 240 moved to LA.
Bear Stearns & Co. $75 million in 1997 to create 13,300 jobs, retain 5,700 jobs even though half of these jobs had been “retained” in a 1991 $30.7 million subsidy. April 2001, 400 workers laid off.
Chase Manhattan Bank (currently JP Morgan Chase) $235 million in 1988 to move 5,000 to Metrotech in Brooklyn. Cut 5,720 jobs when they merged with Chemical Bank in 1995 and laid off 2,200 workers in 1998. In October 1999, Chase relocated 3,500 jobs out of state. In June 2000, Chase took an estimated $100 million in subsidies from NJ to move jobs from Lower Manhattan to Jersey City.
Citicorp (now $90 million in 1986 to establish an office in Long Island City with 3,500Citigroup) employees from other parts of NYC. Cut 1,000 jobs then they merged with Travelers (also a subsidy recipient) to form Citigroup in 1998. By July 2001, Citicorp told the SEC it had to cut another 750 jobs with more than 1,500 slated for its US workers over the year.
Credit Suisse First Boston $50.5 million in 1995 to create 5,500 jobs and retain 3,704 jobs. Cut 135 jobs one month after receiving this subsidy. Following the merger with Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette (another subsidy recipient) in August 2000, over 2,000 jobs were cut in the US, many from NY offices. An additional 350 jobs were cut in April 2001.
Kidder Peabody $31 million in 1993 to retain 3,000 jobs.1,000 jobs cut just prior to being purchased by PaineWebber. Following the merger, an additional 650 jobs were eliminated, many former Kidder Peabody employees.
Merrill Lynch $28.5 million in 1997 to create 2,000 jobs and retain 3,888 jobs.1,800 jobs cut in the summer of 2000 and in 1,000 employees laid off in April 2001.
NBC $97 million in 1987 and $7 million in 1996. These two subsides were to renew NBC’s lease and then retain 2,250 jobs. NBC announced a month before the 1987 deal was closed that 700 employees would be laid off.
News America $20.7 million in 1996 to create 1,475 jobs and retain 2,212 jobs. 420 jobs cut from HarperCollins division, many based in New York in mid 1997. Cuts to staff of 3% in 1999 and 20% of online media in 2000.
New York Stock Exchange Nearly $90.5 million has already been approved for this pending deal. Once estimated to cost over $1.1 billion, current estimates are $940 million.150 clerks laid off in 2001.
Prudential Securities $106 million in 1992 to retain 5,000 jobs in New York City. 560 jobs laid off in November 2000, Another 550 cuts were announced in June 2001.
Time Warner $11 million in March 1999 to its HBO division and $28 million in June 1999 to its Time Inc. division for undisclosed conditions. 400 employees laid off in January 2000 after merging with AOL.
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